MILFORD, N.H. – In its 2014 Opening Day, the Southern Vermont College softball team dropped a pair to Brandeis University at the Hampshire Dome Sunday night. The Mountaineers first lost 14-0 in five innings and then took a 7-3 defeat in the nightcap.
The Judges improve to 4-0 on the season with the two wins while SVC starts 0-2.
Game 1: Brandeis 14, Southern Vt. 0
In the first game, Brandeis starting righty Nikki Cote (Shelton, Conn.) threw a strong first three innings while adding an RBI and run scored on the offensive end. Judge freshman shortstop Liana Moss (Aguora Hills, Calif.) was 3-4 as she missed out on the cycle by a double; she knocked in five Brandeis runs and scored two more of her own.
Southern Vt. senior catcher Kirstin Buchan (Albany, N.Y.) registered the lone Mountaineer hit, going 1-2 at the plate with a single. Junior first baseman Shelby Jones (Hoosick Falls, N.Y.) finished the game with no official at bats after working walks on both of her plate appearances.
The Judges' bats started off hot, throwing up a nine spot in the top of the first to give Cote a comfortable lead early on. After BU tallied its first with help from a wild pitch and throwing error following a fly out, Moss slapped one to right center and was able to cruise around the bases before the Mountaineers could track down the ball and get it in to the plate.
A pair of back-to-back doubles ensued a couple batters later, and Cote then helper her own cause by poking a double to right, bringing around Sullivan for the 4-0 lead. After Cote moved to third on a wild pitch, she took off for home on a bunt by junior Nathasha Quiroz (Bronx, N.Y.), just getting under the tag on a bang-bang play. The Judges would tack on four more to provide a cushion that would not be put in jeopardy throughout the remainder of the contest.
Cote went out to the bump and proved problematic for Southern Vt. in her three innings of work, striking out eight Mountaineer batters in that time. The lone SVC runner she let on all night came by way of the walk in her second win of the season (2-0).
Brandeis added five insurance runs in the top of the third, once again using the bunt to get runners on before knocking the ball into the outfield to bring them in. Moss ripped her triple to plate two, and Sullivan then poked a fly to right field to allow junior Anya Kamber (Sammamish, Wash.) to tag up and score the 14th Brandeis run. Neither side scratched together any more offense through the bottom of the fifth when the game was called due to the 10-run rule.
Mountaineer junior pitcher Emily Fleming (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) took the loss from the circle (0-1), going all five innings while striking out two Judges in the effort.
BU totaled 18 hits on the day with help from sophomore third baseman Madison Sullivan (Dover, N.H.), who was 2-3 with two RBIs and a run scored, and senior second baseman Leah McWilliams (Billerica, Mass.) who went 3-3 while plating two runs from the bottom of the order.
Game 2: Brandeis 7, Southern Vt. 3
The backend of the doubleheader was a closer affair as the Mountaineer defense played tough in backing freshman right hander Lauryn Zovistoski (Granville, N.Y.) and the offense started gaining traction. But the Judges' offense manufactured enough runs to sweep the night and stay perfect on the young season.
Southern Vt. sophomore captain Rachel Robtoy (Baltic, Conn.) went 1-2 with a walk and two runs scored, her hit being a homer. Senior captain Erika Garay (Walnut, Calif.) was 1-1 with two walks and a run scored from the leadoff spot, and freshman Mallory Celeste (Gansevoort, N.Y.) was 1-3 with two RBIs.
The Judges saw junior Cori Coleman (Burr Ridge, Ill.) go 2-3 with an RBI and another run scored while sophomore third baseman Jordan Bruscetto (Old Lyme, Conn.) was also 2-3, adding a run batted in and a stolen base.
Brandeis again took to an early lead, going up 2-0 in the bottom of the first with another Moss double and then a single to center by Coleman. SVC would cut that deficit to 2-1 in the top of the third when Robtoy launched one to left field, over the Judges' outfielders and into the netting for a home run and her first collegiate extra base hit.
That score would not stand long, however, as BU responded with three of its own in the bottom half of the frame with the help of Southern Vt. miscues. With Judges on second and third, a passed ball allowed Moss to come in with the eventual game-winning run, putting her team ahead 4-1.
With the Mountaineers down 5-1 going into the third, they again closed in to take away Brandeis' breathing room. Celeste came to the plate with the pond full of ducks and two outs; she then ripped a double down the left field line to score two SVC base runners and make it a 5-3 ballgame.
Again, BU was quick to answer as the Judges put up two of their own for added insurance including a Sullivan single up the middle to plate Kimbar. Brandeis freshman reliever Melissa Soleimani (Somerset, Mass.) went a scoreless two innings on the rubber, keeping Southern Vt. from mounting a comeback.
Judge freshman right hander Emma Krulick (Maitland, Fla.) picked up her first collegiate win (1-0) while Zovistoski suffered the loss (0-1) after giving up four earned runs on nine hits, striking out two in the effort. Krulick allowed two earned runs on three hits, putting down eight Mountaineers by way of the K.
Southern Vt. is now off until its Spring Break trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., starting the Snowbird Softball Classic on March 17. Brandeis looks ahead to its pair next Sunday, March 9, when the Judges take on Penn St.-Behrend (9 a.m.) and Salve Regina University (11 a.m.).